Isaiah calls to the Judean people in exile, "Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem" (v.9).
Allen & Williamson's Preaching the Old Testament: point out that this instruction by Isaiah to celebrate their release from captivity and their return to Jerusalem comes at a time when they are still under the control of Babylon and Jerusalem is a devastated city. Allen & Williamson remind us:
In this context, Isaiah celebrates God's victory, much as at Christmas Christians celebrate the coming into the world of Jesus, of whom the angel and the heavenly host sing ....(Luke 2:14). Peace, God's peace, is that to which we witness, for which we work, of which we sing at Christmas, and for which we achingly long.
Their ancestors had seen God act in their lives at the Red Sea. Was God absent during their captivity?
Lectio Divina: Isaiah 52:7
Notice the tension underlying the passage, a tension that exists on into our time. God is king; yet, we don't always live like it.
Lectio Divina: John 1:10-14.
Commentators have explained that John was impressing upon us that the Word was always in the world, was present at its creation. We use these opening verses of his Gospel to support our understanding of the Trinity.
Here's some thoughts on the reading from John:
Yet, as I read this prologue on Christmas Day, I am pondering on verse 10, "He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him." Why did the world not know him? Has the world caught on yet?
I keep reading. Verse 11 says "He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him." Okay, many of the Jews of his day did not convert to Christianity. But, how many Christians of my own day really accept Christ? Do we show evidence of this acceptance by the way we live our lives?